Comments

1

Why would a salaried teacher be protected from eviction?

2

That Roth IRA thing article is amazing. It also seems like something that should be a pretty easy fix if our politicians would get off their ass. What Thiel did can't be replicated by 99% of the population so its a loophole only a very small, exclusive number of investors can exploit. Am I angry at him though? No. He played by the rules and the fact that politicians were probably aware of this and did nothing to fix it speaks ill of them. I'd wonder if you did a canvassing of congress how many members you would find that have their own Roth.

3

« Miami building collapses »
Lazy Americans who will not go back to work and have gotten too fat sitting around!

4

Can someone explain to me how an IRA is subsidized by American Taxpayers? Have we changed the definition of subsidized?

5

@1, I think it has something and everything to do with the teachers union.

6

« Spears spoke for 24 minutes describing the hell she's lived through under the control of others while having no voice and no freedom.
"I’m not happy. I can’t sleep. I’m so angry it’s insane. And I’m depressed. I cry every day." - Brittany »

Hell that's every every single day for the US working class. I am not impressed.

7

"Peter Thiel, one of the founders of PayPal"

That always seemed like such an odd descriptor of Peter Theil. It's like referring to George W Bush as the former manager of the Texas Rangers, or Saddam Hussein as the previous head of the energy department in Iraq.

Peter Theil is the current co-founder and chairman of Palantir, one of a handful of the fascist pre-crime tehnology groups funded with our tax money to help the police to do an end run around the Constitution:

https://theintercept.com/2021/01/30/lapd-palantir-data-driven-policing/

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/10/21/magazine/palantir-alex-karp.html

8

The cargo back up has nothing to do with Amazon. Betting there is a lot of construction materials that can be used to construct housing though.

9

I'll go out on a limb and predict that the Miami condo collapse will be determined to have been caused by a structural defect.

10

7 Peter Thiel has argued that there is no actual racism, just a lot of colored people looking everywhere for racism!

11

1 - Well POTUS Trump got a hefty salary and he was blocked from eviction.

12

9 Too much constant house music.

13

Peter Thiel once tried to establish a floating libertarian seastead in the middle of the ocean, explored using blood transfusions from young people to extend his life, and of course bankrolled the lawsuit that took down gawker because they gossiped about his personal life. (I also have it from a reliable source and uh... “contract worker” that sex with him felt like “sticking your dick in a jar of mayonnaise.” I’m not entirely sure what that means -- tho i can guess -- & it’s not entirely relevant here, but I love telling it.) He is a comic book villain-level weirdo.

14

God I hate jenny, she doesn't even pretend to give a shit about her constituents. She won't even lift a finger because she's more concerned about how it might affect her. Fuck your laws designed against helping people, grow a pair you spineless twat.

15

I have a grand parent who is in a bit of a tizzy about having to pay taxes now, that had been deferred. Despite having voted Republican for decades the taxes aren't low enough or nonexistent by now. Like what was the whole point of deferring taxes anyhow, derp.

16

Heres hoping Chauvins sentence is actually more like a day or two if you catch my drift.

17

@4:

Here you go lil' buddy:

https://www.vox.com/personal-finance/2016/6/6/11821072/backdoor-roth-ira-contributions

Basically, by converting from a traditional to a Roth IRA the account owner only pays tax on the earnings, which can be relatively small compared to the amount of principal (if the account is converted relatively quickly), and which is then sheltered from any tax liability. Thus, taxpayers "subsidize" the owner, since we invariably end up paying taxes that they aren't subject to themselves.

Helpful Hint: The next time you have a question, perhaps you should consider this wonderful tool available to everyone who has access to the interwebs, called "Teh Google". It's amazing how you can find answers in just a matter of seconds, while at the same time avoiding the embarrassment of looking like a complete and utter moron who lacks the mental capacity to perform a simple online search to find the answer on their own.

19

18, It’s not roth IRAs themselves but an accounting loophole that people of extreme wealth can exploit to avoid paying taxes on earned income. This is one of those times where it helps to read the article, or even just skim a few paragraphs.

21

Maybe the far-left wouldn’t be so poor if they actually understood shit like ROTH IRAs. Or IRAs. Or retirement planning at all. I’m sure The Stranger will just advocate for “give me money!!!!”

25

Maybe the far right wouldn’t expend so much misplaced righteous fury tearing down straw men if they just read the fucking article first

https://www.propublica.org/article/lord-of-the-roths-how-tech-mogul-peter-thiel-turned-a-retirement-account-for-the-middle-class-into-a-5-billion-dollar-tax-free-piggy-bank

26

24

“Over the last 20 years, Thiel has quietly turned his Roth IRA — a humdrum retirement vehicle intended to spur Americans to save for their golden years — into a gargantuan tax-exempt piggy bank, confidential Internal Revenue Service data shows. Using stock deals unavailable to most people, Thiel has taken a retirement account worth less than $2,000 in 1999 and spun it into a $5 billion windfall.”

Again there is more in the article, I encourage you to skim it feverishly with the hope that you might find any reason at all to not waste your day tilting at windmills

29

27 yes, it’s totally normal for americans to whisk their retirement fund capped at $6000/year into billions of tax free dollars by age 59-and-a-half, this is how we retire now

30

@2 "That Roth IRA thing article is amazing. It also seems like something that should be a pretty easy fix if our politicians would get off their ass."

Easy to fix? That implies billionaires who have used it this way found some unexpected loophole that needs to be fixed. Like most corruption in American, this "easy fix" was clearly built into the system in 1997 when the Roth was created and intentionally expanded a decade later to make it even easier for the ultra rich to exploit. From the article:

"Yet, from the start, a small number of entrepreneurs, like Thiel, made an end run around the rules: Open a Roth with $2,000 or less. Get a sweetheart deal to buy a stake in a startup that has a good chance of one day exploding in value. Pay just fractions of a penny per share, a price low enough to buy huge numbers of shares. Watch as all the gains on that stock — no matter how giant — are shielded from taxes forever, as long as the IRA remains untouched until age 59 and a half. Then use the proceeds, still inside the Roth, to make other investments.

About a decade after the creation of the Roth, Congress made it even easier to turn the accounts into mammoth tax shelters. It allowed everyone — including the very richest Americans — to take money they’d stowed in less favorable traditional retirement accounts and, after paying a one-time tax, shift them to a Roth where their money could grow unchecked by Uncle Sam — a Bermuda-style tax haven right here in the U.S."

We need to stop thinking about exploitation of the tax system as some crazy fluke discovered by some clever accountant. Corruption is the point and is intentionally baked in from the beginning. The only part that "needs to be fixed" by those who did this is how the public ever found out about it. I mean, do you really think the IRS with all it's resources is only finding out about this now?

Joe Biden wants to heavily increase spending on the IRS to go after tax cheaters. Call me crazy, but I don't think it's the Peter Theil's they have in their sites.

34

That Thiel IRA is crony capitalism at its finest. And yes, dont expect Biden to do anything about it. He wants to hire a small city of IRS agents to suck it out of regular people instead. If we closed these loopholes, we wouldnt need 80,000 new IRS agents.

35

calling neoCons, neoFascists
and FAR 'right'-wing Trolls
Godless Commies
why that's f'n
Brilliant.

no Wonder you're
The Professer

37

Code RED (State)!
the KKKommies
are HERE!

39

@36: I'll gladly take Rudy Giuliani to be Seattle's next mayor in a New York second.

40

@ Prof_Hiz, (and others), everyone has their blind spots, and one of yours is your brain is warped around the "billionaire" shit. You sound like a lunatic every time you start popping off about the billionaires.

Thiel is a mega asshole, but you'd be a financial dumbfuck not to take advantage of what the tax code allows. There's nothing illegal or immoral about investing money in a Roth IRA and taking advantage of investments. Getting rich off of smart investments doesn't make you an asshole. How you use your wealth is what it's about.

I totally agree that there should be a cap on the tax-free withdrawal aspect, but that's up to lawmakers to fix, not investors. Blaming investors for being smart investors just makes you sound like a cranky idiot.

BTW, I did read the Propublica article - it's shit journalism, as biased as any Fox News "journalism".

41

butbutbut
Perfessor
if The Rich are
Gaming the System*
where's the Harm? isn't
that just Smart Money Mgmt?
shouldn't they receive Presidential
Metals Of FREEDUM -- like trumpf always said?

@39 -- No one Deserves a Ghoulinani more

*and WE gotta
MAKE UP THE DIFF

or NOT have Medicare for ALL
adequate Childcare Family Leave
all that shite First World Countries
can Somehow Manage to tf Pull Off.

are We Stupid?

42

"Billionaires should NOT Exist."
--Bernie Sanders* (I-VT)

*Chairman of the
Senate Finance Committee

43

@30 You need to keep reading the article....

"In an interview with ProPublica, Pensco founder Tom Anderson recalled how Thiel and other PayPal executives had wanted to put startup shares of the company into traditional IRAs.

Anderson dangled something sweeter.

“I said, ‘If you really think this is going to be big, you know, you might want to consider this new Roth,’” recalled Anderson, who is now retired. If the investment ballooned, he remembered saying, “‘you’re not going to pay tax on it when you take it out.’ It’s a no-brainer."
The math was compelling. Thiel wouldn’t get a tax break up front, but he’d avoid an immense tax bill later on if the investment surged in value.

“They immediately grasped that,” Anderson said. “And they did it.”

The use of the Roth as a tax avoidance scheme was completely unintended. Congress put caps on it as noted in the article so if Thiel tried to open a Roth today he would be denied as he makes too much money. What was/is unique about Thiel and his ilk is that they have access to buying pre IPO shares of companies for pennies which then allows for these ballooning values. Even if any of us opened a Roth today we wouldn't have the access or ability to stuff it full of pre IPO stocks and make billions. The hole being exploited is being used by a very exclusive club of investors so unless congress is doing it too it there should not be any pushback about shutting it down.

The disingenuous part of this thread is all you hand wringers complaining about Thiel "cheating" the system. He isn't cheating and the Professor's bullshit Twix analogy is the problem with the progressive view on taxation. He isn't taking all the Twix from the community bowl. He already has a bowl full of Twix that he earned and when the government says he has to put 2 in the community bowl he does so. But, but, but you all whine he has 100 Twix in his bowl and I only have 5. He should be putting 25 Twix in the community bowl. Maybe that's so but then change the fucking tax laws. It's not the governments money, it's his. Don't sit there and pretend you would voluntarily put 25 Twix in that bowl if you didn't have too. This is no different than the debate about the SALT deduction. You literally have progressive Dems threatening to railroad the infrastructure bill unless the SALT limit is removed. It's all the same bowl of candy my friends.

44

Can't be sure these days about linguistics. So much is allowed, but in my day there were no male cows. Still sad about that story and still makes me want to cry.

Fucking Peter Thiel - which for me would require a blindfold and vast sums of money - wait...no, maybe not even then - is like sticking one's dick in a jar of mayonnaise? Hmm. Does that mean oily? Or cold (since opened mayonnaise is refrigerated)? The point is made though because I can't conceive of much sexual pleasure coming from banging a jar of Hellman's especially if it has a wide mouth. Anyway, don't want to talk about Peter Fucking Thiel during Pride Week. Save that subject for Shame Day.

I kind of pride myself on my sense-of-humor, and I can laugh at some pretty tough subjects. But I can't be glib about the collapsed building. Not yet. I hear rescuers had to amputate a mother's leg to remove her from the rubble. Sure am curious to find out how this tragedy happened.

45

@40 It's sensationalist but not shit. I had no idea about the Roth loophole so I learned a lot. That should totally be fixed and its reporting that exposes this crap that gets the ball rolling.

46

@20:

That's correct as far as it goes, but people who make more than $131,000 ($193,000 for couples) in a year aren't even supposed to be able to invest in a Roth IRA. But Congress created a loophole back in 2005 that rendered the income limits essentially moot, and allowed high-earners to simply create a traditional IRA and then convert it immediately into a Roth IRA, the so-called "backdoor Roth IRA" that saves them huge amounts of tax liability over the lifetime of the fund.

47

@17 @22 that isn't subsidizing at all. Owners of both Roth and Traditional IRA pay taxes. On Roth IRA they paid tax up front, on Traditional IRA, they pay tax at withdrawal. There are caps on both. Subsidizing implies taxpayers who don't own Roth or Traditional IRA pay taxes that support the Roth or Traditional IRA owner. This isn't happening.
So again, people have changed to the definition of subsidize to fit their narrative.
"People with money bad, people without money good"

48

peeps with Enough Money
to Purchase Our Gov't -- Good!

purchasing OUR Gov't:
B.A.D.*

*but Only for the Bottome
Ninety NINE Percent.

which is ALL Schloggers
'cept for Bezos @

49

@1, 5,

One of the three bills specified that anyone who was a teacher or a student (or the parent/guardian of a student) could not be evicted during the school year.

It appears the intent of the bill is to prevent disruptions to education.

50

@43: I did read that, but interpret it differently.

This article focuses on how the Roth Share investment system was a new concept for Peter Theil, but it was clearly not a new concept for Tom Anderson at Pensco who suggested it to them. Access to buying pre IPO shares has a hallmark of the 1990's tech boom in Silicon Valley (there were great articles in the 1990's about how this was used to good Steve Job's compensation) that predated the Roth law by almost a decade. Like the heavy lobbying that brought us Carried Interest and the Bermuda Reinsurance Business for Hedge Funds, those who support these tax changes are masters of ensuring the look like the are aimed at the middle class while ensuring they are used by the ultra rich is ways that benefit them.

An even better example comes in 2007 when the Roth conversion is allowed for those making over the cap (along with an estate tax holiday in 2010 for the richest of the rich) where the government was clearly in on the game and knew exactly what the effect would be, but wanted to "slash taxes on capital gains" and used this as a bargaining chip to create the illusion of a revenue neutral policy:

“It will have large and damaging effects on the federal budget for decades to come,” wrote budget expert Len Burman in the specialty publication Tax Notes."

@40: I am not criticizing smart investing, I am criticizing the type of predatory rent seeking behavior those like Peter Theil use to rig the tax system with private company below value IPO shares for their own benefit. His rent seeking IRA windfall and how he gamed the system to do it has nothing to do with being a "smart investor."

51

"but you all whine he has 100 Twix in his bowl and I only have 5. He should be putting 25 Twix in the community bowl. Maybe that's so but then change the fucking tax laws."

That's easier said than done when legislation in the US is written by and for the wealthy and connected:

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/perspectives-on-politics/article/testing-theories-of-american-politics-elites-interest-groups-and-average-citizens/62327F513959D0A304D4893B382B992B

It's not unfair or immoral when someone becomes wealthy. What's unfair and immoral is that most people want the wealthy to be taxed higher, most people want wealth to be more equally distributed, but they can't get the laws changed to do so because the wealthy are the only ones who get to make all the laws.

52

Um Nathalie, nobody is ordering a container load of bullshit during the pandemic, but there are containers full of parts and even printed cardboard packaging manufactured overseas on those ships and everyone where my girlfriend works is getting laid off tomorrow because of the shipping bottleneck.

Depending on how long the delays continue they may never be re-hired and the manufacturing company building made in America goods and employing local workers may go out of business, so how about a more thoughtful tone?

53

@49 It went farther than that. Educators are defined as all employees and contractors of a school in Seattle and schools itself also means child care facilities so basically anyone who works at a school or daycare center would not be subject to eviction during the school year including teachers, janitors, cafeteria workers or the dude that plays songs for kids on his guitar at the local daycare. Disappointed Jenny didn't veto even if the council has the votes to override. I'd make them go back on record supporting this even as the city atty warns them they are likely to get overturned. Jenny got short timer syndrome though.

54

@51 Why is it immoral that people are unable to simply confiscate someone's wealth because they want to? That's exactly what our laws were designed to do. Protect individuals from the mobs. Who's to say what constitutes wealth and their "fair share". That line is one of my biggest pet peeves of the tax debate. Who determines the fair share? It's an easy conversation when you are talking about shitheads like Theil and Bezos but if you think its stops there you are being naive and that is why these changes don't get passed. Just look at the capitol gains tax debate here in WA. You would think that would be a no brainer. Yet most people, and in my belief rightly so, don't trust our elected to only tax what they need to operate the government and soon enough that tax will apply to everyone. Even the legislature all but admitted they can't get it past voters when they inserted the emergency clause to shield it from referendum. I don't buy the screaming into the wind theory. It's not the politicians holding this up, its the voters who don't trust the politicians to follow their wishes.

55

@49, ok but teachers are gainfully employed, at a consistent salary - what excuse would they have for not paying rent on time?

The whole thing is just weird. Maybe if there was some checks/balances like showing proof or reason why you can’t pay rent that you agreed to. At this point people can say/have been saying that they can’t pay so that’s it? No actual proof needed?

56

@51, What your neighbor has in their bank account is none of your business.

57

@54,

Politicians who have been essentially installed by the wealthy to act as shields to distract people away from the real problem (wealth inequality) and instead focus on meaningless drivel (gun control, abortion, immigration, etc.)

The federal government, and most state and local governments, are plutocracies at best, and kleptocracies at worst. The wealthy have all the poors and middle class fighting amongst themselves while they laugh and rob the country blind.

58

@56,

That line is such a tired platitude. Don't you have anything more interesting to say? Something with some meat on it?

59

@54,

Shoot, I didn't really respond to any of your questions in my remark @57.

"Why is it immoral that people are unable to simply confiscate someone's wealth because they want to?"
"Who determines the fair share?"

We supposedly live in a modern civilized society. In order to keep that society functioning, we have to "confiscate" other people's wealth because those people are so self-absorbed, so self-important, and so detached from reality that they won't willingly help the society that gave them their wealth continue to function as a society. They'd rather die on their pile of gold than so much as cure one ill. So we, as those who value the society over individual selfishness, have to "confiscate" a paltry sum of their hoard of treasures from them. Because we "want to" keep society from collapsing.
Morals are relative. I believe it is immoral to allow people to starve to death in order for the dragon to remain sitting on his hoard of gold. Perhaps you believe the opposite. But that's what I think.

Who determines fair share? In a civilized society, the citizens would decide. The society. Apparently in the US system, a plutocracy, the wealthy decide if they should keep their hoard and let the world burn, or if they shouldn't, and let the world flourish. That doesn't seem like a great system to me. But that's just me.

60

@6 Yeshua: Agreed and seconded.

@16 Brent Gumbo: I'll take a college educated guess: Derek Chauvin is sentenced to 25 years to life for the willful murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, gets butt-fucked in federal prison upon being appointed Belle of the Ball by his inmates (as in The Shawshank Redemption: "Fresh fish! Fresh fish! Fresh fish!"), dies in his cell two days into his incarceration, and roasts in hell for eternity. Brilliant! Agreed and seconded.

@36 Professor_Hiztory: I did read that. Rudy Ghoul-iani is a total crook, like the bloated, gloating orange howler monkey who bought him off. If Democrats would just kill the filibuster, the GOP would finally go extinct. Win-win!

@41 kristofarian re @39: Elmer's just as slow as old glue, kris.

61

@55,

It MIGHT not be because they think teachers aren't paying their rent on time, it might be more about the housing market.

The housing market is really nuts right now and investors are buying up every property they can with the intention of slapping on some paint and then renting them out at 10x what they're worth (or just sitting on them empty if they can't rent them).

This MIGHT be an attempt to prevent investors from buying rental properties, evicting everyone (regardless of whether they're good tenants or not), and jacking up the rent to unaffordable levels during the school year.

Just a speculation on my part... but this exact thing IS happening in the Atlanta area and suburbs where I live. So that's what I thought of when I read about the bills.

64

@55 - exactly. If there is any group that was not financially hurt by the pandemic it was teachers. A defense to eviction for, say, restaurant workers would have made a hell of a lot more sense.

@60 - You damn near nailed Chauvin's sentence. Congrats!

@61 - There has been a long-term effort by the City Council to make owning rental properties less attractive (I think they are hoping to crash property values). So far not a lot of landlords have bailed out of the market but at some point it will start to swing. Anecdotally I am hearing, though, that other landlords who own single-family rental houses are selling them to owner-occupants, thus reducing availability of rentals. Some of that is no doubt due to taking advantage of high values but when the management as a rental is more and more of a pain in the ass, it probably helps tip the balance towards the decision to sell.

65

@64 dvs99: Thanks. Every now and then Griz hits a home run on predictions and forecasts. :)

66

@64 dvs99: If I'd predicted that Derek Chauvin's sentence would be 22.5 (not 25) years to life in prison, my prophecy would have been eerily bullseye perfect.

67

Hey, Britney:

You got too much too soon
Now you're living in a cocoon.
If you wanna be free from Poppa,
Don't be a whiny, shaved head o' sloppa.
Don't like Daddy's reactions,
Be accountable for your actions
If you wanna make your life Work, Bitch


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